Sunday, November 25, 2012

Persuasive Writing

We've been working on persuasive writing projects for two weeks, and things are going so well! We started by listening to "I Wanna Iguana" by Karen Orloff - it is a perfect book for this unit. Bonus: it also introduces letter format! Two birds, one stone. Afterward, we talked about the book: we sorted reasons why Alex should have an iguana, we discussed the difficult time he had getting his mom to do what he wants, and we made connections to our own lives by talking about times we had to ask our parents for something.
Their first persuasive writing task was to convince me to give them a night off from homework. {Have I mentioned before that many parents here prefer homework every night? It's a lot.} So they set off, writing letters to me in their journals after some quick brainstorming. Of course, they got the night off!

The next day, we reviewed what persuasive writing is using these {FREE!} posters from Jodi Southard. Then we wrote a letter together to our principal. My students don't know it yet, but we have a field trip planned to go to the Scientific Center/Aquarium at the end of the month, so they wrote letters trying to persuade him to let us go. {Ha!} After, we made a bulletin board together showing the different parts of a letter using our shared writing piece. I will be choosing a few students to head out and read their letters to our principal so they can feel they were, in fact, very persuasive in their writing. {Or maybe, I can convince him to write a letter back to us saying no for whatever reason - you know, in the style of "I Wanna Iguana" - and we'll have to try even harder. Hmmm!} For homework on this night they had to tell their parents what specific meal they wanted for dinner and give three reasons why.

For our last project, we read Hey, Little Ant by Phillip and Hannah Hoose.
This book is great because it's very open-ended - no decision is made in the end - and will allow the students to make the ultimate choice: to squish the ant or let it live. It's perfect for hitting on character education and works pretty well with our word of the month: integrity. After we talk about the reasons given through the story, students will write their own conclusion with reasons to support their decision using this graphic organizer and friendly letter writing page. Find it free here on TpT or here on TN.

Afterward, I'll be assessing their writing using this rubric:
Find it free here on TpT or here on TN.
Hope you got some ideas to teach persuasive writing in your class!
- Amanda


  1. thanks for sharing! will be working on persuasive writing soon!

  2. We just did a persuasive writing activity with this book this week! I'll be sharing on my blog next week. Both of these books are a favorite of mine! :) Thanks for sharing!

    Teaching Maddeness